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Are Politics Killing Justice?

In a recent Legal Affairs article William R. Yeomans, a 25-year veteran of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division wrote an article where he argued this: "Political appointees to the Justice Department's civil rights division are driving career lawyers to retirement []."  Politics might be killing other branches of DOJ.

According to the Associated Press, the Department of Justice's lead trial attorney in the litigation against tobacco companies is quitting her job:

Sharon Eubanks, who had aggressively pursued the racketeering case against the tobacco industry, was withdrawing effective Thursday, the government said in a one-sentence filing in U.S. District Court.

Eubanks said her supervisors' failure to support her work on the tobacco case influenced her decision to retire after 22 years with the department.


"The political appointees to whom I report made this an easy decision," Eubanks told The Washington Post. She said her work on the tobacco case has been professionally rewarding but her politically- appointed bosses "have been somewhat less than supportive of the team's efforts," the newspaper reported on Thursday.

Political appointes have tained the good name of the Office of Legal Counsel; they are ruining civil rights; and now they are driving away talented and idealistic trial lawyers.  In light of these revelations, I hope the argument that the decision to prosecute is wholly apolitical dies its well-deserved death.